About This Study

Many students of the Bible find the book of Ecclesiastes to be depressing. The book is full of things that the author declares to be vanity. By the time you get done reading Ecclesiastes, you walk away thinking that there is nothing in this world worth doing. As the Californian's say, "bummer."

In my studies of the book of Ecclesiastes, I haven't found this to be true at all. While there are many passages which speak of things worthless to do, intermixed in the book are numerous suggestions that will bring happiness to a soul

Consider these statements:

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, ..."

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That every man may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil --this is the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

"Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him -- for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work -- this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."

Ecclesiastes is a well-balanced book. Useless pursuits are condemned and profitable actions are encouraged. I hope that after you complete this study, you will come to agree with me.

There are thirteen lessons in this study. Each lesson begins with a reading assignment and is followed by a series of questions about what you just read. Do these questions first. One of my goals is to encourage each of you to learn as much as you can directly from the scriptures. The questions are designed to help you meditate on the reading. You will not be able to answer the questions by skimming through your Bible. Unless otherwise indicated, all questions can be answered from the reading. After completing the questions, read over the discussion section. This section will set the tone for what we will be talking about in class. The discussion section is followed by another set of questions that are designed to encourage you to connect what you have learned to other passages in the Bible and to find application in your daily life.

General Assignment

  1. As you read through Ecclesiastes, highlight or underline the passages that tell you how you ought to live your life.
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